Congratulations to This Year’s Honorees!
Preservationists of the Year
For their tireless efforts on behalf of our city’s heritage, we bestow our top honor in 2020 to Ana Maria and Kevin McGuan.
They’ve made extraordinary contributions to the rich heritage of Long Beach—particularly Villa Riviera, their longtime home and a city icon. Among their many initiatives at Villa Riviera, they helped secure a Mills Act contract for the building, which provides homeowners with significant property tax relief. Ana also served for many years on the city’s Cultural Heritage Commission, and Kevin was appointed to the commission in 2018.
This dynamic duo has made an indelible mark on Villa Riviera and the city as a whole.
California Heights Residence
Kathy Costantino and Janice Watson spent nearly twenty years bringing their 1931 Spanish Revival house back from the depths of a serious “remuddle.” Underneath the “lace” stucco, aluminum sliders, and 1970s brick, they saw what the home once was and could be again.
Keeping all remaining original features, they reversed insensitive alterations and installed fixtures and finishes appropriate to the period. This remarkable labor of love is a tribute to stewardship and a lasting contribution to the historic neighborhood of California Heights.
Charles Phoenix: Long Beachland
For more than twenty years, the “Ambassador of Americana” has thrilled audiences far and wide with his signature comedy slide-show performances. Charles’s time-travel adventures spring from his massive archive of vintage Kodachrome slides from the 1940s through the 1960s.
Laugh by laugh, Charles fills his fans with pride for the retro glory—still largely intact, thank you—of the places they call home. He brought the magic to town with “Long Beachland,” celebrating the stories and landmarks of “the Epic Seaside City.” Guests will never see Long Beach the same way again. See for yourself on March 19, when Charles hosts the awards dinner!
Historic District Guidelines
Long Beach now has eighteen historic districts (and counting), each of which contributes to the city’s shared heritage yet has its own qualities. The City’s Development Services Department launched an initiative to create guidelines tailored to each designated neighborhood.
The guidelines describe the unique aspects of each district, explain the architectural styles that define it, and offer guidance on maintenance and alterations. It’s now easier than ever for owners to update their historic homes while keeping the authentic character that makes their homes, and neighborhoods, so special.
Joseph and Carrie Torrey House
In 2010, the City declared this 1911 home in Willmore City a public nuisance. It was boarded up yet inhabited by squatters; it had no kitchen, heating, or plumbing. Two years later, it was slated for demolition.
Charles Nourrcier rescued the house and brought it back to life using only local vendors, contractors, and laborers. They completely rehabbed the home, restoring the remaining original elements. They even installed a new foundation while leaving the original one intact. Now a local landmark and listed in the National Register of Historic Places, this home proves that if a building remains standing, it’s never beyond saving.
Middough’s Sign, Insurance Exchange Building
This gem of downtown Long Beach was built in 1925 as Middough’s Boys and Mens Shop. Designed by local architect and engineer Harvey Lochridge, the building is a Long Beach Historic Landmark and listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
As part of their strong, ongoing stewardship of the building, the INEX Homeowners Association commissioned a painstaking restoration of the early, long-faded Middough’s advertising sign.
This former auto shop in the Washington neighborhood found new life as a craft brewery and taproom. In a collaboration between owner/developer Millworks and tenant Trademark Brewing, the industrial building was transformed for its new use while keeping most of its original features, including woodwork, beams, metal trusses, even doors.
This longstanding piece of Long Beach history now thrives in the hands of Trademark owners Sterling and Ilana Steffen, who, says Sterling, “let the building speak for itself.”